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The great begging con is on

Her child is ill, in desperate need of medical attention. She wants you to help her buy medicines prescribed on the OPD card of one of the Capital's prominent hospitals. Don't rush for the wallet. Rhythma Kaul writes.

delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2011 02:11 IST
Rhythma Kaul

Her child is ill, in desperate need of medical attention. She wants you to help her buy medicines prescribed on the OPD card of one of the Capital's prominent hospitals.

Don't rush for the wallet. There is a very real chance that the outdoor patient department card is a fake.

On most traffic signals, especially in and around Connaught Place, the OPD card used for asking for money is that of the Safdarjung Hospital, which issues 7,000 of them a day.

HT managed to get hold of one at the Feroze Shah Road traffic signal.

Agumentin, tixylix, crocin and zincovit are scribbled on it, with dose directions for a two-year-old.

The card is a fake. Safdarjung Hospital switched to computerised OPD cards six years ago.

"We do not issue hand-written cards anymore," said Dr KT Bhowmik, additional medical superintendent, Safdarjung.

All the doctors are issued stamps and the card has none. It was stolen, picked from a discarded bundle or someone was getting them printed, he said.

Surprisingly, the prescription is right - for a child with severe throat and cough infection.

"It is obviously written by someone who has some knowledge of medicine," said Dr Bhowmik.

The Delhi Police have not received any complaint so far.

"If someone approaches us, we will investigate," said a senior police officer.